Hanggai, from the steppes of Mongolia by way of Beijing, is a crossover band that blends traditional music and rock. The band’s members come from Inner Mongolia which covers a vast portion of China’s north, Xinjiang in China’s far northwest, Qinghai’s Haixi Mongolian Prefecture in northwest China and Beijing, China’s capital which lies far to the east.
Formed in 2004 when Ilchi and fomer band mate Xu Jingcheng re-discovered the beauty of traditional Mongolian music, the band has now grown to seven players, Batubagen (Inner Mongolia), Yiliqi (Inner Mongolia/Beijing), Yilalata (Inner Mongolia), Hurizha (Qinghai), Meng Da (Inner Mongolia), Niu Xin (Inner Mongolia) and Ailun (Inner Mongolia).
"Hanggai have made the leap from folk phenomenon to crossover pioneers without losing their soul. Built from - and meant for - Mongolia's wide open spaces, this music will make you homesick for a place you've never been." (Rhapsody) In 2008, Hanggai released their first album, Introducing Hanggai, which garnered glowing praise internationally. Esteemed indie music website Pitchfork reviewed Introducing Hanggai at a 8.0, saying Hanggai’s music: “distills everything powerful about Mongolian folk music and makes something new from the ingredients...transcendently powerful music that anyone from anywhere can understand.”
From 2009, Hanggai played some of the best international festivals in the world, including Rosklide, Lowlands, Fuji Rock, the Chicago World Music Festival, Sziget, Wacken open air ( Europe’s largest metal festival ), FMM festival, Sydney festival, Bonnarroo and Womad festivals in Abu Dhabi, UK, Gran Canarias, Australia and New Zealand, The tours took them to all 5 continents and in June 2013 the band performed in Africa and has added the 6th continent to their list.